“'So,to the future,we must all be aware that there is only one direction we can travel,that is upwards.Together, we can achieve our goals'.”
Many people connected with this club will feel a great sadness with this news and know they have lost a good friend .Chris was Secretary of the club for a number of years at the end of the 1990's , and as an administrator worked tirelessly to help the club develop across that period.His period of office included supporting the clubs highest playing achievement when we reached the Final of the RFU NPI Intermediate Cup at Twickenham in 1999 beating Dudley Kingswinsford 21-10.
Chris rose through the ranks of Greater Manchester Police to Detective Chief Inspector and had always been involved in rugby. When he moved into the Audenshaw area in the mid 1970's and reached the end of his playing days he took up refereeing for the Manchester & District Referees Society, and many of his whistle blowing colleagues will also be sad with this news.
Through local friendships Chris became an Aldwinian supporter and follower when refereeing duties allowed and became fully involved in the club.He helped with coaching the junior sides as his son Giles went through the age groups,mentoring lads through difficulties, and became a Life Member.
In 1991,he was jointly involved in organising a major social event designed to bring in support and sponsorship from businesses and raise funds for the club.This was a Sportsmans Dinner & Boxing Night held at the Quaffers night club in Bredbury.The success of that first event saw the Boxing Night being held for 5 years with a 3 course Dinner, 8 bouts of amateur boxing, MC and Guest Speaker, the most notable of which was the late Gordon Brown(Broon from Troon)Scotland International and British Lion . Chris was later responsible for reviving the clubs annual Battlebus weekend coach Trip to a Six Nations match at Twickenham , which has now reached its 30th year.Chris has already organised the elements of this years Trip when England play Scotland in March-sadly his seat on that coach will remain empty.
One of Chris's most prestigious duties was to be the Club Coordinator in hosting 3 nations at Audenshaw Park for the 2002 Commonwealth Games 7's Competition.With Canada, Cook Islands,and South Africa based at the club for all their training sessions,and one session by England,the club volunteers received high praise for the warmth of welcome and standard of facilties
The photo above was taken at the 2015 Presidents Cocktail Party with Chris, on the right, enjoying conversation with club colleagues
There is so much more to Chris's life story which will no doubt be revealed in due course as social media comments are gathered and anecdotes are shared .His long term involvement as a Head of the Governing Body at Hyde Community College is well known in education circles in Tameside, Greater Manchester and nationally.Here is a quote from an open letter he sent out as Chair of Governors in June 2014 .He said-
'So,to the future,we must all be aware that there is only one direction we can travel,that is upwards.Together we can achieve our goals'.
Not a bad objective for this club to be reminded of.
There is no mention above of what Chris was suffering from,that resulted in his death.
That information is provided below by way of a commentary provided by his wife Yvonne and son Giles :-
Chris, the big man who shared his inner strength, courage, and determination!
Two and a half years ago he learnt he had a terminal cancer. In the main he chose not to share this knowledge so this will come as a surprise to many of you.
He continued to live his life, perhaps a little slower but to the full and certainly to the end….as you will read.
• Last Monday he answered 10 questions correctly on university challenge
• On Thursday he said goodbye to his friends in Switzerland and we flew home.
• On Saturday he had his last beer with a friend and talked rugby and politics
• Sunday was a family day full of hugs and kisses and lots of good memories. We made sure he knew he was loved, respected and appreciated. How lucky were we to have this special time?
• On Monday, bathed in love, he breathed his last, at home, holding my hand. Giles arrived two minutes later, perfect timing for us! We marched up Cow Lane, behind our house in the twilight, talking of good things we’d all done together and laughing about some of his passions that made him who he was.
In short, he died as he lived, with dignity, with brain in full gear, still being in charge and caring about everybody.
I know we will all miss him. Chris seems to have had several parties this year but you are all invited to his final celebration, which of course will be at his beloved rugby club, Aldwinians. Date and time yet to be arranged.
Lots of love to you all Yvonne, Giles and Kirsty xxx
Details of the funeral arrangements will be relayed via this web site in due course.
Further comments will be added to this posting throughout the period between now and the 14th February.
If you do wish to relate your own experiences of being in Chris's company, please send your thoughts by email to Dave Taylor Snr at firstname.lastname@example.org and use the Facebook page.
Updated 08:41 - 8 Mar 2017 by Mike Marrow